Thank you Jack, for reading and for such kind words of appreciation! :) As always, your comments brighten up even the dullest of my days! :)
I think you have summarized the best possible answer to the dilemma that led to this piece. We may think our stories as our own, but really we are mere vehicles. It is funny how often we hear writers saying that the story ‘wrote itself’ or that they merely ‘went where the characters took them’, but it is not until you experience how compelling and overpowering a character’s arc can be that you realize the truth in those words. I think there is nothing more humbling than being compelled to surrender to a story you thought belonged to you.
Thank you for understanding the turmoil behind this piece so well, and answering it so beautifully for me! :)